After having shaken off our lackluster experience in the Amalfi Coast area, we were excited to get to Sicily to explore everything it had to offer. In our minds we had visions of The Godfather, seafood, canolis, and warm weather on the beach.
We spent our whole time in Sicily in the capital, Palermo. Infrastructure isn’t prolific in Sicily, so we had a lot planned for the big city – opting to do some day trips to neighboring villages if we felt like it.
Our airbnb was right in the center of town, near the most historical areas. We got to work seeing the sights right away. It included seeing some open air markets that had been around for 1000 years, plenty of statues, and the finest architecture Sicily had to offer. Plus a few other sights.
Plus, the Fountain of Shame. So named because so many of the statues are nude, many of whom have had their…err…”members” hammered off.
This was also the first time we saw fascist architecture in Italy. Brutalist architecture commissioned by Il Duce during fascist Italy. The next door fire station is another great example but was covered by scaffolding.
Visiting these old pirate markets is a must. This market is specifically called the Capo market and is jam packed with people on scooters, shouting vendors, and more produce than you know what to do with. I’m always intimidated by these markets because I don’t even know where to begin when trying to buy something nice like fish.
Best of Sicilian Food
These are real Sicilian canolis, highly recommended by our host.
And what would a trip to Sicily be without…you guessed it, pizza and gelato.
Random Bobs and Bits
My first haircut in 3 months.
Fans of The Godfather 3 might recognize these theater steps…
A couple of words about the mafia in Sicily: it’s still a real thing and it kills and extorts a lot of people. It’s a blight on Sicily. The theater in this photo above was closed for 27 years due to “renovations”, when in reality the Cosa Nostra was extorting “protection” money from the owners.
The town Coreleon (namesake of characters in The Godfather) is a small village near Palermo. We didn’t visit it but still felt we got enough of a feel for the mafia’s presence in the city.
One opportunity I decided to pass on was to see real graffiti from prisoners of the Spanish Inquisition in the Palazzo Steri. It was super cool, and spooky, but, frankly, had other things to do and was tired. I would have liked to have seen it but don’t regret missing it.
We were happy to visit Sicily and juxtapose the popular culture of the Cosa Nostra, canolis, and the Spanish Inquisition against their realities. Even so, we didn’t feel a connection to this place nor a desire to come back. So with all of that said, we give Palermo, Sicily…
That’s it! Have you visited Palermo? Did you like it? Did you hate it? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.